Deceit fills hearts that are plotting evil; joy fills hearts that are planning peace! Prov. 12:20 (NLT) This week’s verse reminds us to be careful not to entertain trickery or misleading tactics. Take no pleasure in evil plans, schemes or deeds. Rather, let the joy of the Lord penetrate you to maintain peaceful intentions and thoughtful actions. Let all that you do be done with fairness and integrity. This week ask God to search your heart and remove anything that is not like Him. Ask Him to guard your mind and resist every evil thought. Examine your conduct and abandon all acts that are not rooted in the principals of God. Let your actions reflect the love of God. Let the abundant joy of the Lord flow in you and through you. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Luke 6:35 (NRSV) It is easy to love those who are kind to you and love you back. It is a challenge to love your enemies and those who are ungrateful. This text reminds us of the importance of sincerely loving everyone, even our foes. Greet hostility with kindness. Meet hatred with agape love. Show generosity to anyone in need, whether a friend or foe. Give mercy without conditions. Sow seeds of goodness, without seeking anything in return, and God will reward you for your good deeds. Have compassion for your enemies. Lift them up in prayer and speak blessings over their life.
Remember God’s unconditional love and grace that He so freely extends towards you. He loves us even when we don’t deserve it. Reflect God’s love, grace and mercy in the world. Loving your enemies is a challenge you can accomplish with the love of God. If you struggle in this area, ask God to love others through you and watch Him use you mightily. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. Prov 17:14 (NIV) Don’t be eager to start a quarrel with others. Entertaining disagreements to the point of heated arguments releases the floodgates of ongoing conflict. Today’s text challenges us to stop conflict before it starts. It is wise to pull back from the situation, think carefully and decide is the matter worth the risk of losing peace. Instead of reacting, carefully assess the situation. Consider if you are ready to approach the encounter in love and is the other person in a stable mental or emotional condition to have a fruitful conversation? At all cost try to live at peace with others and show the love of Christ in every interaction. This week, make a conscious effort to not let your words be steered by your emotions, but rather Godly discernment. Pray for others and continue to pray for yourself to maintain self-control, even when faced with difficult people, interactions and circumstances. You will be tempted, but don’t fall for the bait. Don’t give the enemy a foothold. Put him under your feet and walk in peace. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24-25 (NRSV) It is easy to believe in things that you can see. It takes faith and trust in God to continue to believe when you are still in waiting mode. When faced with setbacks, maintain a spirit of expectation instead of becoming discouraged. Don’t allow doubt to deter you. Have confidence and know that everything God has promised you will come to pass. Whatever God has spoken over your life will happen in due season. God has plans for your life. Don’t be anxious and do not worry. Delayed doesn’t mean denied. Be patient and wait on the Lord. He won’t let you down. He created you and loves you with an everlasting love. He desires to shower you with blessings that were ordained for you before the foundation of the earth. Continue to believe and get ready to receive. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3 (NRSV)
A miry bog is mushy, sticky, uncomfortable, hard to navigate, and extremely difficult to move through. A rock is a solid place, often piercing above the ground or sea. A miry bog and a rock are in direct opposition of each other. Which means God can take your situation and turn it completely around. He is the originator of the great exchange. Give him your lack and he will give you plenty. Give him your pain and he will give you healing. Give him your troubles and he will give you rest.
Be comforted today in knowing that God will rescue you from whatever pit that is trying to swallow you up. If it is the pit of poverty, God will provide. If it is the pit of loneliness, God will be your companion. If it is the pit of mental anguish or condemning thoughts, God will deliver your mind and strengthen your heart. He will give you a spirit of praise in exchange for your spirit of heaviness. Whatever you need, wait on God for it to come to pass.
When you wait on God he is able to elevate you above your situation and place you on higher ground. He is faithful to meet you right where you are and take you where he desires for you to be. He knows your every concern and his loving care for you will rescue you every time. Do not quit before you get your breakthrough. Don’t give up and don’t move in haste. Wait patiently for God. He is worth the wait. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity. Prov. 17:17 (NRSV) Relationships can be challenging at times. There will be seasons when close relationships are tested by conflict, misunderstandings, and challenges. A true connection can weather these storms and come through them stronger than before. Don’t let hardship tear down your relationships with others. Be willing to build and grow in your relationships. Don’t seek perfection in others over peace with them.
Let patience, grace and forgiveness be the glue that bonds you together. Allow the unconditional love of God be the sealant that keeps you committed. Cherish those whom God has placed in your life. Be the friend that you desire and appreciate the ones you have. Be willing to step out and establish new connections. Be filled with God’s love and let it flow through you to love others. Push beyond your protective barriers to allow yourself to authentically establish friendships and relationships that go beyond the surface. God has placed a valuable gift inside of you to share with others. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. Eph. 2:10 (NRSV) God has specially handcrafted you according to His will and purpose for your life. He is not winging it or making it up as He goes along. He has a divine path uniquely designed for you. If you ever have any doubts regarding who you are and what you should be doing, I encourage you to seek God’s face for answers, guidance and direction. When you are criticized or misjudged by others, remember they didn’t make you, so their opinion shouldn’t shake you. Don’t let those who didn’t build you try to break you. If you get off track, trust him to gently guide you back on the right path. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17 (NIV) After Jesus was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners, He educates His accusers of His purpose of saving the loss. Why would He avoid the very people He came to save? It is very easy for us to get comfortable in our churches and amongst our friends who are fellow believers, but reaching the masses calls for us to move beyond our comfort zone. How will the darkness ever be changed without being exposed to the light? With love, not judgement we must be light in the midst of darkness. Remember God calls us unto Himself and then unto the world to draw others to Him. Go be the light! Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4 (NRSV) If we are honest, there are many times in our life when we face situations that genuinely make us afraid. When fear rises, we have to know what to do with it. Ignoring it and acting like it does not exist will not make it go away. Identifying it and choosing not to surrender to it will help us walk in victory. You have three choices when faced with fear; You can let it paralyze you, put you on the run or stand firm in God and allow Him to fight your battles. God will save you. With Him protecting you, what can anything or anyone do against you. No evil plans will prosper, as long as you keep your faith in God. Wherever you are and wherever you find yourself, if God be with you who can be against you. God will cause you to soar above your enemies. He will thwart the plans of the enemy and will keep you in every circumstance. The next time fear knocks on your door, step aside and let God answer it. Stay strong. Let’s go and grow together. ADaubon